How do you measure a “creative” agency?

measuring-ad-success-onlineSome agency creative people are legends in their own minds.  They develop creative that wins awards while they lounge in France but what is the creative spots fail to deliver on the key objective of advertising; to generate sales?

I sat in an agency pitch, at the clients request, for a new health product that is being launched in the fall.  The creative director presented an animation that was pretty good and some people even gave him applause, but then it came time to face reality.  I asked “what is the objective?” followed by “what consumer problem does this product solve?” upon which there was awkward silence.

Let’s get to the point, advertising is meant to sell product.  People who say that our goal is to raise awareness haven’t taken into account the distance from awareness to conversion. Research does show that funny or emotional commercials can cut through the clutter, but do they actually make you want to purchase the product?

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A quick read through Ad Age is a good indication of just how out of touch the Ad Agency business really is.  Too many senior marketing people would rather win awards for great ads that are creative but when you look closely the ads failed to deliver on their basic objective to increase sales.

How should you measure creativity?

1ne: Whenever you review creative it should be done against the creative brief.

2wo: Ask “what is the objective” before reviewing any creative.

3hree: Does the creative communicate a key brand element that either solves a consumer problem or makes them say “I want to try that!”.

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In my opinion too many creative directors are held in too high a regard.  They have offices full of gadgets and toys, but while they revel in their own perceived importance they fail clients.

There can be a balance between creative and brand objectives.  All advertising should be measured where it counts.  If awareness increases 40%, but sales decline 20% the campaign has failed, it’s as simple as that.

 

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